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Religious Orders and Societies


The Evangelical Catholic Church recognizes many of traditional Religious Orders of men, women or both.  Both Religious Orders and Religious Societies serves the Church and the People of God in a variety of distinctive ways.  A common characteristic of religious orders and societies that  each has a rule of life and is committed to a unique form of a prayer, life in community, and hospitality.

A Religious Order of Men, Women or Both of the Evangelical Catholic Church is a community of Evangelical Catholics, under the care of the Presiding Bishop, who have voluntarily committed themselves for life, to holding their possessions in common, to a celibate life within a recognizable expression of community and to remain in obedience to their Rule and Constitution.  A Religious Order can be composed of members who are Ordained and/or Vowed Religious.

A Religious Society of Men, Women or Both of the Evangelical Catholic Church is a society of Evangelical Catholics, under the care of the Presiding Bishop, who have voluntarily committed themselves to their Rule and Constitution. A Religious Society can be composed of members who are Ordained and/or professed lay members.

Nearly all religious orders and societies offer ways for you to participate in their life and ministry. Both welcome your support as a way of connecting with the wider church, and they have a lot to offer. Sometimes called “the best kept secret in the church” these communities are resources that can enrich the spiritual lives of anyone who chooses to take advantage of the blessings they provide.

Orders and Societies may offer “days of recollection” or overnight or longer retreats in which visitors can share in the life of prayer and work that is at the heart of religious community life. Some retreats offer a specific program or explore an aspect of spiritual life or ministry, while others are “self-directed,” and provide you with a peaceful and prayerful environment for reflection and inner renewal.

Sometimes both Orders and Societies invite you to go deeper, and offer retreats intentionally designed for vocational discernment. This might allow you to share in the community’s life for a longer stretch of time – but watch out! You may discover you are called to even greater participation than you planned for, and many have found themselves moved to explore life as a member of a community in this way.

If you wish to maintain an ongoing connection with a Order or Society, many of them also provide for associate membership of one form or another. A few even have a special category of oblate membership, in which you might take a modified form of vows after a period of formal preparation. The level of commitment involved in these relationships varies from community to community, but most of them welcome the company of fellow pilgrims.

However you choose to connect with a Religious Order or Society, you will find a warm welcome and encouragement from sisters and brothers who have learned the blessing of “living together in unity.”

The Presiding Bishop for the Evangelical Catholic Church has been charged with fostering and supporting the growth of Religious Orders and Societies.  You may contact Bishop James Wilkowski at 773-721-5383 or email him at presidingbishop@evangelicalcatholicchurch.org  to discuss your unique sense of calling to either a Religious Order or Society.


Come, follow me

Canon Law and Formation Policies of the ECC

The Diocesan Deaconate

The Diocesan Priesthood

Process for Clerical Incardination

Religious Orders and Religious Societies

Welcoming Women to the Deaconate and Priesthood

Welcoming Back Inactive Deacon, Priests, Religious and Bishops 

Sample Application for the ECC Secular Formation Program


Saint John the Evangelist Seminary


National Church Office for Vocations
Father Mark Hebert, Director